From Mel: It’s been six months since I’ve blogged a story and I am read to share with you this lovely soul’s words and images. Gina is a delight—an empath, a grief specialist and one who has deconstructed, navigated a rebuilt a world view and story for herself. I always love my time with her and anyone who meets her is more vibrant for it.
From Gina: For me, the concept of telling my story, not the curated story I’ve told a thousand times in front of so many groups is a challenge. This is encouraging me to look at who I am NOW, not who I have been in the past. Because I have told the same stories over and over, it is time for me to really examine the woman I am today in light of those stories.
The most important thing to know is that I don’t shrink from my stories anymore. I tell them because people look at me and see a confident, strong, vocal woman. They don’t often see that this has been a process of becoming. And, that it is not over yet.
My life has been in the “in between” places, whether I wanted them to or not. In between communities divided by race, in between the nerds and the popular people, in between the lovers and the haters, and now in between the church and those the church has pushed away. It helps me understand a lot of different people and their struggles.
Being an empath means that I feel the weight of so many people in the gaps, the in between spaces. Because I do grief and trauma work, long days with clients can leave me exhausted – connected to other people’s feelings and not my own.
As an Enneagram type 3w2, The Achiever, I am a chameleon – able to fit in almost everywhere. I have a strong 2 wing, which means I often (always) put others needs before my own. It makes me sometimes look like a hero – something my 3 wants, and that gets me in trouble because I am often not connected to how I really feel.
These days I am feeling just right in my own skin. The blue and pink hair fits my “unicorn” nature. I am transforming my body into one that I like and feel comfortable in, and I am admitting my own needs and desires and working to fulfill them.
I’m going out on a limb here and being very vulnerable to say that I am finally ready for a partner in my life. I’m realizing that love and deep connection is important to me, and that it is fine for me to want a deep relationship with the right man.
I’m probably going to regret putting this last part out there, but there it is.
The voice that is loudest comes from my childhood where I was taught to be quiet and that I was not enough or too much, depending on the situation. I was taught not to stand out, not to be proud, and to not bring attention to myself. The loudest voice is my mother’s, but there are myriad voices that have expressed their criticism, and as a sensitive child, I used to take them to heart.
I was told I was too loud, too smart, too fat, too strange. As a very light-skinned African American woman, I was “not Black enough” in the Black community; accused of trying to pass for White.
I use my voice about issues of race, sexual assault and DV, gender equality, and as an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community. There are people in these communities who write or text to thank me for being their voice.
My name is Gina Pollard and I am continually growing into my authentic self and teaching others to do the same.